A front row seat to an American Idol performance just might be the best medicine. At least that’s the diagnosis from Adam Cook‘s friends and supporters in Terre Haute, Ind., who arranged a $45,000 trip on a chartered medical jet to Los Angeles for David Cook‘s brother so he could see him perform.
Adam, who is undergoing chemotherapy for brain cancer, watched his brother David, an Idol favorite, perform Mariah Carey‘s hit “Always Be My Baby” from a front row seat during Tuesday’s live broadcast.
“I am blown away,” he said in an interview Wednesday with B1027.FM, a local radio station that helped facilitate his trip. “The support of the community made this possible, it literally just lifted my spirits to know I’m from Terre Haute. That might sound corny, but it’s the God’s honest truth. My feelings for back home were just amplified.”
So far the trip is well worth it. “I’m not going to lie to you. He still has a tough road ahead of him,” Adam’s longtime friend Darrick Scott tells PEOPLE. “But this trip to Los Angeles has put a whole new pep in his step.”
“This has just been incredible for the family,” says Julie Henricks, midday host of B1027.FM. “Adam hadn’t wanted to get out of the house in three weeks. Now, he’s out sightseeing in Los Angeles. His wife Kendra says Adam is a different person.”
Getting the VIP treatment probably didn’t hurt. “They came in and asked if it was okay if they seated Teri Hatcher and Minnie Driver next to us,” Adam, 36, said Wednesday in the interview. “When Teri sat down, I didn’t even know who she was. She weighed all of 90 pounds. I expected her to be taller. But I’m not stupid. I figured it out. She’s a desperate housewife and hey, I’m a desperate house something.”
Having his brother in the front row may have been the inspiration for David, who, according to judge Randy Jackson, gave the “most brilliant performance yet.”
“I’m not really very emotional,” Adam’s wife Kendra said in the same interview. “But I was crying when David sang. It was just the moment. I can honestly say it was so much fun.”
The judges — Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell — were also inspired. “Randy came over and asked, ‘Are you the A.C., from the guitar? And he was like ‘Dog, that’s so awesome,'” Kendra told the radio station (David sometimes performs with a guitar with his brother’s initials on it and has an “A.C.” tattoo). “Paula came over and when Adam stuck out his hand, she said, ‘No, I want a hug.’ And Simon came over after the show and said, ‘You should be very proud of your brother. He’s a very nice man. You’re welcome here anytime.'” –Pam Grout